AFT-NH President Douglas Ley Testimony In Support of HB 1415 Death Benefit for School Employees Killed at Work

My name is Douglas Ley, and I am one of the members from Cheshire County, District 9, representing the towns of Dublin, Harrisville, Jaffrey, and Roxbury.  I am also president of American Federation of Teachers-NH, and I have filed all the requisite paperwork with the Legislative Ethics office and intend to participate in the discussion of HB1415.   

As we know, NH Statutes currently authorize a death benefit of $100,000 for families of police officers and firefighters killed in the performance of their duties.  That is a good thing, and I am proud to have helped pass that legislation.  Today, we consider establishing a similar death benefit for the families of school employees killed in the line of duty, and on behalf of AFT-NH I am here to voice our support for this proposed statutory addition.

AFT-NH President Doug Ley Testimony In Opposition to SB 193

[Note: The entire written testimony is provided but actual testimony was abbreviated due to time constraints and to avoid duplicate testimony. Per President Ley, many school boards, school board members, superintendents and policy experts tore into the bill in great and meticulous detail. AFT-NH applauds their efforts.]

Let me begin by offering my thanks to the Committee Chair and to the Finance Committee for taking the time to hear my testimony. 

For the record:  Douglas Ley, representing District 9-Cheshire County, towns of Dublin, Harrisville, Jaffrey, & Roxbury. In addition, I am here as president of American Federation of Teachers-NH, and have filed the requisite paperwork with the Legislative Ethics Office.

Speaking on behalf of myself and the 4,000 members of AFT-NH, I come before you in opposition to SB193.  The written report provided to you focuses upon financial aspects of SB193 and places the proposed program into a broader national context by looking at its financial provisions as compared to those in other states with similar Education Savings Accounts (ESAs).  Please read the report by clicking the link Following the Wrong Path.

 

AFT-NH Legislative Bulletin, 2018-03

January 12, 2018

Bow, NH

The New Hampshire legislature is beginning to return to its accustomed rhythms and routines as both the House and the Senate met in session.  More important, committees began holding hearings on this year’s avalanche of proposed bills and these hearings will continue unabated for the next six or seven weeks.  It is in committees where the majority of the work of the Legislature is done, through listening to testimony, considering bills and amendments, and shaping recommendations for action on the floor of the House or the Senate.  If you have never done so and if you have the time, look at the House or Senate calendars, find a hearing that might be of interest, and consider attending to observe or even testify.  Testimony from members of the public is always welcomed, especially as it brings a perspective different from that of the usual lobbyists and fellow legislators.  You might even conclude that you too can be a citizen legislator—believe me, there are no prerequisites other than a willingness to put in a lot of time for virtually no pay.  But it can be satisfying and is certainly interesting.  

NTU President Adam Marcoux's Letter to House Finance in Opposition to SB 193 (school vouchers)

Re: Written Testimony in Opposition to Senate Bill 193

First, I would like to thank Representative Kurk and the Committee for the opportunity to address our opposition to Senate Bill 193, an act establishing education freedom savings accounts for students.

As President of the Nashua Teachers’ Union, I write this letter on behalf of more than 1,000 teachers and with unanimous support of my Board of Directors.  We adamantly oppose any type of education freedom savings account or voucher programs in our state.  This bill would take away state per pupil aid and give it to non-public, unregulated schools.  There is no meaningful accountability for those students that are no longer in public schools, creating a different standard for our students across the state.

 

Timberlane Regional School Board Adopts Illegitimate Default Budget per TTA and TSSU Presidents

PLAISTOW, NH— January 10, 2018 —the leadership of the Timberlane Teachers’ Association and Timberlane Support Staff Union released the following statement:

After a prolonged public discussion over drastic cuts proposed to the Timberlane Regional School District 2018-2019 budget, the Timberlane Regional School Board adopted, without deliberation, a default budget that does not adhere to the formula prescribed in RSA-40-14b. 1, according to Timberlane Teachers’ Association President, AFT#4796, Ryan Richman and Timberlane Support Staff Union President, AFT#6530, Laurie Herchenroder. 

AFT-NH Legislative Bulletin, 2018-02

The NH Legislature managed to meet one day this past week, but Thursday’s snowstorm and the bitter cold led to the cancellation of Thursday’s scheduled House session.  Instead, the House will convene this Tuesday, January 9, to continue working through the remaining retained bills from 2017.  Although an additional session day on Thursday, January 11 is possible, most expect the House to finish retained bills on the 9th and then commence committee hearings on 2018 bills.

SB 193  The big news this past week was House passage of Senate Bill 193 as amended , the bill establishing so-called “education freedom savings accounts.”  In simple terms, the bill takes funds normally distributed by the State to local school districts and places the money into accounts that can be used by parents who home-school or choose to send their children to private (including religious) schools.  The NH Constitution explicitly prohibits expending public funds in support of religious schools, so the “education freedom savings accounts” are an attempt to bypass that prohibition.  As one House member noted in debate, these accounts will act as a pass-through system, or in more direct language, as a “money-laundering” system to render public revenues into non-public money and thereby circumvent the state’s Constitution.